Concerts by Cape Symphony and NSO pay tribute to JFK 100th birthday

Posted on: May 26, 2017

President John F. Kennedy would have celebrated his 100th birthday on May 29th of this year, and two orchestras with special links to the slain president are marking the occasion with concerts and events. In Hyannis, Massachusetts, the Cape Symphony will present a John F. Kennedy Centennial Commemoration concert in conjunction with the John F. Kennedy Hyannis Museum on Sunday, May 28. Led by Artistic Director and Conductor Jung-Ho Pak, the program will include The Dream Lives On: A Portrait of the Kennedy Brothers, written by Peter Boyer. Ted Kennedy, Jr., honorary chair of the concert along with his wife, Kiki, will narrate the piece, which features the words of the Kennedy brothers. Other music on the program will include scores associated with President Kennedy. Cellist Amit Peled will use a cello owned by Pablo Casals to perform Song of the Birds, which was performed by Casals at the Kennedy White House in 1961. Baritone David McFerrin and the Chatham Chorale will also perform in the multimedia event, which will include commentary from local dignitaries.

In Washington, D.C., the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts will present a JFK Centennial Week May 23-29 that includes performances in multiple disciplines and a free open house. The National Symphony Orchestra gave a special May 24 concert led by Joshua Weilerstein honoring Kennedy that features a world premiere by Mason Bates as well as works by Copland, William Grant Still, John Williams, and Leonard Bernstein, with cellist Yo-Yo Ma and mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke. On May 28, the National Symphony Orchestra will give its annual free Memorial Day Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol honoring the military service of all men and women in uniform. The concert will be broadcast live on PBS; check local listings for details.

Posted May 26, 2017

Pictured: Crowds on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol to hear the National Symphony Orchestra perform in the annual Memorial Day Concert.